The main risk factor for developing mesothelioma — a rare and aggressive type of cancer that develops in the thin layer of tissue covering your internal organs — is exposure to asbestos.
However, what many people don’t know is that the signs and symptoms of this rare disease do not show up until 20 to 40 years or more after exposure to asbestos, which is why for many people the problem began many years ago while serving in the U.S. Navy. Asbestos was heavily used in the U.S. Navy up until the 1980s. In fact, it was used all over the place in the armed services, including U.S. military bases and military housing.
While it is not harmful on its own, asbestos is dangerous when it is broken up either during mining or insulation. As dust, this harmful material can be easily inhaled or swallowed, making its home in the stomach or the lungs, where it can eventually turn into mesothelioma. Vietnam War veterans are also at risk because many of them were exposed to asbestos during the war.
Whether you served in the Korean War or the Vietnam War, you might have been exposed to asbestos. If you’re experiencing symptoms related to mesothelioma, such as chest pain, painful coughing, and shortness of breath, it’s important to make an appointment with your general practitioner as soon as possible. This is especially true if you’ve served in the U.S. military. The second step is to contact an asbestos and mesothelioma law firm. To learn more.